StrengthenIng Language skills,
communication competencies, and
ENhancing resilience of hearing parenTs of
Although more than 90 % of deaf children are born to hearing parents, this group often gets overlooked. We want to empower families and raise awareness for the
struggles that deaf children and their families face.
Parents need advice, information, and they need to learn new skills. Especially in the first months after finding out their child
might be deaf or hard of hearing, they often stand alone. The information they are given has a significant impact on the cognitive and
psycho-social health of children later on in their life. Deaf children are often academically at risk, often because they are missing a solid language foundation. Many deaf children are raised only using spoken language, but even if they use technical aids like cochlear implants (CIs) or hearing aids, in some cases they can't learn the language fully. Additionally, not all children fulfill the requirements to have surgery to receive cochlear implants.
Children start to learn the languages they are exposed to at birth – be it sign languages or spoken languages. After the first few years of life, the window for first language acquisition slowly starts to close, and it becomes increasingly more challenging to learn the language fully. We want to respond to this need for language acquisition (either spoken or sign language) of deaf children and establish effective family communication. We achieve this by educating and empowering all family members – parents, siblings, and grandparents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children – through a family learning approach so that they can provide an inclusive, nurturing, and anxiety-free environment for early childhood development.
By providing the necessary tools, we will create resilient, empowered, and equipped families, enhance language acquisition and
positive self-image of deaf children. We will equip adult educators with new skills, competencies, and confidence to deliver training and create a more inclusive society.
Project Objectives and Results:
Our main aim is to strengthen language skills and communication competencies and enhance resilience of hearing family members of deaf children by offering them the necessary educational tools. Our international team of partners will work together to provide parents with the following educational materials:
1) Family Learning Toolkit - that supports hearing families with deaf children with language acquisition of spoken and sign languages.
In several videos and three illustration books, we provide language learning resources and want to offer deaf children representation without focusing on problems they might face.
Children should learn that deaf people are more than a disability. They can lead meaningful lives and have many friends and talents, regardless of their having technological aids.
2) E-Learning course for parents - that provides a flexible set of educational, training, and information material for autonomously learning about deafness, sign languages, and social inclusion in a self-directed way.
In five modules, all family members learn about everything that is important when having a deaf child. Starting with how the ear works, communication using sign languages, dealing with your new situation, the topic of social inclusion and how you can advocate for a deaf family member, to how to do all this learning together as a family.
3) In-service Training Programme for Adult Educators - that teaches them how to fully harness the SILENT educational resources' potential and motivate parent-to-parent support using the SILENT E-Learning platform.
Coordinator: InterAktion - Verein für ein interkulturelles Zusammenleben, Austria
CSI CENTER FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION LTD, Cyprus
Humanost - North Macedonia
Rightchallenge - Portugal
Parents International - The Netherlands
Project Number: KA220-ADU-0E33F470
Project Duration: 1.11.2022 - 28.02.2025